Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Desert Hills - 15mm SciFi WIP

The final "natural" terrain features I am making for this project are some basic hills.  These are dead simple.  All you need is some scrap cardboard, some styrofoam, some texture paint and other scenic material.  The tools I'm using are scissors (to cut out the cardboard), my hot wire foam cutter, 220 grit sandpaper and a hot glue gun.  This will round out a good collection of terrain for my desert table.
Some simple shapes cut from pieces of a cardboard box.
I used hot glue to attach pieces of styrofoam to the cardboard.
I used a hot wire cutter, holding it at an angle, to cut out the rough hill shape.
I used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth the styrofoam and "erase" the cut lines left by the hot wire cutter.  Sanding also helps reduce the transition from the slope to the flat top, adding realism.
Each piece received a generous coat of Desert Yellow texture paint.
You can see how the texture paint fills in some of the smaller holes and cracks in the foam.
When that dried, I gave them a quick highlight with Desert Yellow mixed with Ivory, then pure Ivory.  I got a little heavy handed here but it worked out fine.
Finally, I added some scenery flock and gray ballast sprayed with a 50/50 mix of white glue and water.  I spilled a big bit of gray ballast on the one but I'm not worried about it.
Here they are on the table. They blend reasonably well.
Closeup "model's eye view" of the larger hill.
All of the desert terrain I've built for this project so far.  I don't need any more "natural" features but I will do some buildings for some outposts.   Eventually I might make an oasis, just to add some trees, but that won't be for a while.
Monoliths and rough patches.
Hill/dune and monoliths.
Hill/dune, monoliths and rough patches.
More or less straight down, overhead view.
That's it for now.  I hope you've enjoyed my documenting this project so far.  I'm still working on making some buildings and painting figures.  I hope to post my completed Earth Force platoon next week.  Until then, carry on!

12 comments:

  1. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your terrain making posts and I'm very impressed with how they have turned out. It just goes to show what you can do when you put your mind to it. Well done, Ironmonk!

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    1. Thank you! I've been enjoying working on this very much. It has been good to have the time and space to work more intentionally on my hobby once again. Glad you're enjoying the posts.

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  2. The hills look good and fit in well with the base board and other pieces.
    I've worked with styrofoam form many years and have always avoided hot-wire cutters and glue guns - much kudos for your use of them !

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    1. If you use a low temp glue gun its better. And plenty of ventilation for the hot wire cutter. It takes some practice but doable. Thanks for checking in.

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  3. Impressive terrain project. I like how they are all co-ordinated. Good Work Fella.

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    1. Thank you! I appreciate the feedback. The base paint is all from the same can; highlights all from the same shade. That makes it all match well.

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  4. Awesome job. Another idea I shall have to steal at some point!

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    1. Steal away! I'm sure I stole it from someone or some book/website along the way myself. : )

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  5. The matching board and terrain features look very good together. It's not something I've managed to achieve myself, so I'm quite jealous :-) .

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    1. I've never been so intentional about creating a complete set of terrain for a specific project before this. I'm pleased with how it is turning out. It is well worth the effort. I'm really looking forward to playing some games! Just need to finish painting my figures...

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  6. It does all look very good together. I think once I have finished my current projects I may do the same. I deserve some decent 15mm sci fi terrain. The main difference is that I will need to make it suitable for club and easy to transport and store. So no main board, but maybe a cloth and component pieces.

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    1. We ALL deserve some decent 15mm scifi terrain! : ) All these terrain pieces will fit into a plastic storage tub. I'm planning to make some foam core shelves in the tub to accommodate more features and keep things from bumping together too much. Should be very portable. The table, of course, is less so, but a good mat or colored cloth would work just as well. Good luck with it!

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